COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A group of Republican state representatives filed 12 articles of impeachment Monday against Gov. Mike DeWine over his actions during the coronavirus pandemic, an effort that DeWine called “foolishness (that) has got to stop.”
Rep. John Becker of Clermont County filed the articles, joined by Candice Keller of Middletown, A. Nino Vitale of Urbana and Paul Zeltwanger of Mason.
“DeWine’s mismanagement, malfeasance, abuse of power and other crimes include, but are not limited to, meddling in the conduct of a presidential primary election, arbitrarily closing and placing curfews on certain businesses, while allowing other businesses to remain open,” a news release from Becker said. “He weaponized the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to bully and harass businesses and the people.”
DeWine is a Republican, too, but he has drawn criticism from some in his party for his health orders during the pandemic. In responding to the articles of impeachment, DeWine said those filing them should instead spend time with people affected by the virus.
“I’d like for them to go in and talk to some nurses, who are front-line nurses, who are dealing with people who are dying,” DeWine said. “I’d like for them to go talk to some family members, maybe a family that didn’t believe this could happen. Now at Christmas, there will be one less person at their table, or more.”
Becker said he will request House Speaker Bob Cupp to refer the articles to the Federalism Committee, which Becker chairs. If the articles make it out of committee and pass the full House, a trial would take place in the state Senate.
A similar impeachment effort failed in August, partly because Cupp did not support it.
“Even serious policy disagreements do not rise to the level of impeachment under our constitution,” Cupp said at the time.
DeWine said he doesn’t believe that this effort has broad support.
“At some point, this foolishness has got to stop,” he said. “And I’m not talking about most Ohioans, just a small number of people who continue, for whatever reason, to think that this and act that this is a big joke.”